Meet the Membership Board: Illustrators Cécile Gariépy & Jonathan Calugi
WORKING NOT WORKING
Simply put, Working Not Working doesn’t work without our members. Every single creative that builds a profile on WNW is further bolstering the elite talent pool we’re known for with their unique skillset and perspective in tow. With our community growing exponentially to include more than 50,000 creatives all over the world, our very own Membership Board has become especially invaluable. Members of our Membership Board are not only some of the most talented and experienced creatives on the platform; they also take time out of their busy schedules to proactively vet creative talent on WNW and offer personalized feedback to help fellow members strengthen their profiles.
This recurring WNW Magazine feature will introduce you to creatives on our Membership Board. It will celebrate their work and give them the mic to offer advice on how to elevate your own WNW profile. This feature is NOT meant to introduce you to creatives you should beg, bribe, or badger to review your profile. Our Membership Board includes hundred of members and the profiles they review are randomized.
Which portfolio project are you proudest of and why?
Cécile: I always try to be proud of something in all the projects I undertake. I think it's important for my work to make sense. But of course there are some projects that have a greater impact on us than others. Last year, I made a large mural on an arena wall in Montreal and it took a lot of physical and creative effort. There were a lot of people involved and together we managed to create this 4000 square feet piece in a couple of weeks, under a burning sun. I can say that because of all the energy that has been put into the project by several people, it's the project I'm most proud of!
Jonathan: There are a lot of projects I like and early ones that give me a sort of nostalgic feeling. I felt a lot of freedom in my early personal work and I’ve been working nonstop the past 3 years, so I’m proud of all projects. But I do miss my personal projects. One of my favourites of all time is one for Airbnb because it was a mix of personal research with commercial work ;)
What's your creative mission at this stage of your career?
Cécile: At this point, I am keen to pursue projects that take me out of my comfort zone and lead me on creative paths that I had never even thought about before. Partnering with talented people and improving together the outcome of the work: that's my creative mission at the moment.
Jonathan: The word that obsesses me is freedom. I have a 2-year-old boy and I love to spend hours looking at him drawing without any reference, any final point, or any arrival point. Just because it’s funny. Too often, I’m asking myself what is most important to understand and if it’s more suggesting a word or a letter. At this stage, I want to experiment and try to let people decide how to read the message of my work.
Who is your creative inspiration?
Cécile: People! People! People! Their appearance, their bodies, their stories, their facial expressions, their gestures. It is an endless source of inspiration!
Jonathan: I had the fortune to build my own inspiration because I never studied illustration. So I discovered for myself what I love and what makes me crazy. I’m coming from graphic design and especially love all Italian designers working between 1950-1960. In term of the arts, I’m obsessed with everyone from Picasso to Miro Giacometti Moore and many more. And a deep-rooted love for the graphic work of Marino Marini, who is from my same town ;)
Any tips for how to discover your creative voice, evolve as a creative, and continue to get exposure to new opportunities?
Cécile: It's a shame, but there's no secret to evolving as a creative person. You have to put in the time and effort to perfect your practice. To do, to do, to do always more. Getting up one morning and suddenly being successful, that only happens in movies.
Jonathan: When I have the opportunity to say something to young and energetic new voices, I always say this: “Follow your mistakes.”
I think your mistakes and your past are the only two points of you that nobody can reproduce. Find your voice in your mistakes and the start of beauty in ugliness. We are in a fast and fluid market where images are abused and become porn. My advice is to try to be more amateur. Find your voice, follow your instincts and accept your successes and your failures.
What do you look for in a WNW profile when vetting talent?
Cécile: We see a continuous stream of images during our days. What fascinates me about a portfolio is the ability to convey an idea quickly, and that it captures my attention among all the images.
Jonathan: I love Working Not Working. I think it’s one of the coolest communities and I remember skyping with co-founder Justin Gignac years ago when first joining. When I vet WNW profiles, I love to see who you are. Try to be simply who you are in real life. From a business point of view, I try to see “the cover page.” I like when a profile is real and honest, where the work is spoken, the mood of the person is understood, and the creative approach is consistent.
What advice do you have for talent signing up on WNW?
Cécile: Take special care of your profile but also promote yourself as a creative person. If the projects presented are carefully crafted, refined, and argued in a catchy way, they will stand out from the crowd.
Jonathan: Believe in your dreams and in this connective world. I’m from a small city in Italy and thanks to Working Not Working and the web, I’m working for people all over this world. WNW push you in front of many, many potential clients. Remember to enjoy yourself and spread love.